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Sneaky thieves who raided a rural honesty box for its cash and cakes have spoiled Beth MacDonald’s appetite for her homebaking sideline.
The dishonest acts, reported to police, means regulars who enjoyed making trips to the upcycled postbox near her home on the Bonawe Road to get their fill of cakes, scones and tablet will now miss a treat.
Beth and husband Iain’s luck took another hit during the latest dry spell when their emergency water pump, needed to supply their home and thirsty cattle in a next door field, was also stolen.
Kind neighbours came to their rescue with the loan of a replacement pump but the thefts have left the couple feeling fed-up and Beth heartbroken.
Three CCTV cameras have now been set up to keep a look out for any other wrong-doers.
Beth whose jolly roadside scarecrows spread many a smile to passers-by, started the Granny’s Home Baking idea during lockdown to keep busy.
‘I’m sad to say the thefts only started happening when the tourist season kicked off. I’m sure it wouldn’t be locals. I’ve had £20, £8 and another £20 taken plus cakes, so I’ve decided I’m not doing it again. I’ve taken the box away.
‘It’s such a shame because it was so successful. I left a little notebook out and I got such lovely comments from people. The first day I did it, everything sold out.
‘We get so many unknowns cars and campervans down our road now. The loch is a popular spot. We think whoever took the water pump was also an opportunist. It was a heavy thing, worth about £200. It would’ve needed a couple of people to take it away. The only comfort is knowing whoever did it, slashed the suction hose with a knife so would’ve got soaked head to toe.
‘My husband was annoyed about the water pump being stolen but was more gutted for me about the honesty box.
‘We’ve given statements to the police for them to investigate. It’s heart breaking it’s come to this. I can’t understand why anyone would be so horrible, I’d like to meet them to ask why? I’d be interested to find out if anyone else’s honesty boxes have had the same happen,’ added Beth, who also runs the Atlantis Leisure Centre cafe.
After working 12 years at the cafe, Beth only took it over 11 months before the pandemic struck and had to shut.
‘I was probably the last cafe to open in town because of being in the leisure centre. I’d missed out by just weeks on getting early support from the government and although I did get a bit of help later on – it’s not been the easiest of times. These thefts just topped it off.’